Local Schools Win The Chance To Build Nature Gardens

 Sandfield Close Primary School Eco Club members Dev, Khushi and Muskan with judge Rachel Ibbotson from the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust

Three Leicester schools have won the opportunity to create a wildlife area worth £3,500 in their grounds, in a competition organised by Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust.

Belgrave St Peter’s, Sandfield Close and Sparkenhoe Community primary schools were selected by a panel of four judges after submitting their designs for natural spaces. The Trust’s team of Grow Wild gardeners will now help the schools to turn their creations into a reality.

The judges were impressed by pupils’ creativity, with the winning entries demonstrating clear planning and imagination. Children from Belgrave St Peter’s produced a short animation of their dream garden coming to life through play-doh models, Sparkenhoe Community Primary presented a colourful plan of their proposed wildlife area, while Sandfield Close pupils created a miniature living model of what they hoped to build.

Eleven schools from across the city submitted their ideas to the panel, which comprised Leicester City Council senior nature conservation officer Dr Helen O’Brien, council environmental education co-ordinator Lee Jowett, Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust education officer Rachel Ibbotson, and Grow Wild gardener Matthew Herbert. The judges had a tough time choosing the winners, with strong competition across the board.

The competition was run as part of Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust’s Wild Forest School initiative, which provides youngsters with valuable opportunities to play and learn outside.

“These gardens wouldn’t be possible without the generous support received from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. They will make a real difference to the schools involved and their pupils for years to come.”

Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust will start work with the schools in the next few weeks, with the aim of having the wildlife gardens ready by Christmas.

For more information on the Wild Forest School initiative, visitwww.wildforestschool.org.uk.